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Whirlpool Q3 Profits Fall 48%

10/23/2009 01:31:45 PM Eastern

Benton Harbor,
Mich. - Battered by the global recession and weak
demand for home appliances, Whirlpool reported a 48-percent drop in net
earnings, to $87 million, and an 8-percent decline in net sales, to $4.5
billion, for the third quarter ended Sept. 30.

Excluding the impact of
unfavorable currency fluctuations, sales declined 3 percent the company said.

In North
America, sales slipped 9 percent to $2.5 billion while operating
profit rose 89 percent to $140 million thanks to cost reductions and
productivity initiatives. But those factors were partially offset by lower unit
production volume, unfavorable foreign currency fluctuations and an increased
mix of lower-priced products, the company said.

Total operating profit
rose 8 percent, reflecting "our successful cost reduction efforts, the strength
of our global operating platform, our commitment to product innovation and
strong consumer brands," said chairman/CEO Jeff Fettig. "These factors,
combined with our continued emphasis on marketplace execution, will remain key
focal points as we manage through this challenging macroeconomic environment."

Fettig added that the company has successfully restructured its
business to align its capacity and resources to lower demand levels, and that
it continues to see "uncertain and volatile demand levels in many markets."

Based on the current
economic outlook, Whirlpool expects full-year 2009 U.S. industry unit shipments to
decline approximately 10 percent, compared with its previous projection of a 10
percent to 12 percent decline.

U.S. product launches during the third quarter
included:

·        
The Whirlpool
Gold free-standing, double-oven
range, which uses half the energy and pre-heats in half the time of a
conventional full-sized oven;

·        
The Maytag
Performance series front-load washer, which features a fan to circulate air to
help prevent odor;

·        
The Maytag
Bravos high-efficiency top-load laundry pair, which can handle an
18-pound load with its 5 cubic feet of capacity, faster spin speeds and Maytag commercial technology;

·        
The Maytag
ICE2O refrigerator with patented door seal to keep cold air in and
warm air out;

·        
A Maytag
gas range with an extra-capacity oven and 17,000 BTU burners, and;

·        
The addition of a new midnight blue color for
the retro-look Amana top-mount
refrigerator.

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